CYPRUS: Fenerbahçe fans ahead of match with AEK Larnaca - "FOOTBALL UNITS!"

Fenerbahçe fans in Cyprus

Turkish-Cypriot Fenerbahçe fans on their way to the "AEK Arena" stadium in Larnaca were photographed holding a banner reading "Football Unites!” The image is now making the rounds on the internet.

AEK (Athletiki Enosi Kition) hosts the Turkish team tonight at its stadium.

In the afternoon, the Larnaca team announced that all the tickets for the match for the 4th matchday of the Europa League groups were sold out.

Fenerbahçe will be looking to record a win that would secure them a place in the Europa League knockout stages when they travel to Cyprus to face AEK Larnaca on Thursday.

Last week, the Yellow Canaries maintained their unbeaten record in the group with a 2-0 home victory over Larnaca, Sports Mole reported.

They failed to claim a positive result when they travelled to Istanbul last week, as a Michy Batshuayi strike and a Rafail Mamas own goal condemned Larnaca to a 2-0 defeat.

Sitting in third place and four points adrift of the top two, Larnaca need an improvement in results in the second half of the group stage, otherwise, they could be dropping down to the Europa Conference League or exiting European competition altogether.

Since losing in Turkey, Jose Luis Oltra's side have returned to winning ways, with goals from Ivan Trickovski and Jose Romo wrapping up a 2-1 away victory against Aris Limassol in the Cypriot top flight.

As Larnaca turn their attention back to European action, they will be looking to clinch a third consecutive home victory in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Fenerbahce will book their place in the knockout stages with two matches to spare if they can record another win over Larnaca.

The Yellow Canaries may have won in the Europa League last week, but that result has quickly been forgotten after they emerged victorious from a nine-goal thriller at the weekend.

An Enner Valencia hat-trick as well as goals from Miguel Crespo and Batshuayi secured a memorable 5-4 victory over Fatih Karagumruk, which extended Fenerbahce's unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions.

As a result of Sunday's victory, Fenerbahce have now won their last seven competitive home matches, but they travel to Cyprus without a win in their previous three away games.

Although, they will be confident that they can claim a positive result, with their seven Europa League matches this term - including qualifying - resulting in five wins and two draws.

The hosts are without the services of Andreas Paraskevas and Bruno Gama, who are currently sidelined due to injury issues.

Oltra made a number of changes for Sunday's league win over Aris Limassol, but the Larnaca boss is expected to name a similar lineup to the one that started in Istanbul a week ago.

Although he has only scored one goal in 14 appearances this season, Rafa Lopes is set to lead the line for Larnaca on Thursday.

As for the visitors, Mert Hakan Yandas, Luan Peres, Nazim Sangare and Joshua King are all expected to miss out through injury.

Valencia is yet to start in the Europa League group stage this season, and despite scoring a hat-trick at the weekend, he is set to drop down to the bench, with Jorge Jesus keen to rotate his side.

Ezgjan Alioski, Diego Rossi and Batshuayi started against Larnaca last week, and after featuring as substitutes on Sunday, the trio are all expected to return to the starting XI.

AEK Larnaca possible starting lineup:
Piric; Rosale, Milicevic, Tomovic, Garcia; Mamas, Oier, Gustavo; Faraj, Altman, Lopes

Fenerbahce possible starting lineup:
Bayindir; Osayi-Samuel, Henrique, Szalai, Alioski; Yuksek, Crespo, Lincoln; Mor, Rossi, Batshuayi

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